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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Maple Grove Felon Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Possession of Firearms

MINNEAPOLIS – A Maple Grove man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for illegal possession of firearms, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger. 

According to court documents, in January of 2022, the brothers were both charged in Hennepin County District Court for possession of machineguns after they brought to the funeral of a known gang member firearms that had each been modified with auto sears. An auto sear, also known as a switch, is a device used to convert a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm and is considered a machinegun under federal law. In the spring of 2022, both Cortez and Quantez Ward pleaded guilty to their Hennepin County charges and were released on terms of probation.

On May 6, 2022, the brothers were pulled over by the Maple Grove police department. During that traffic stop, Cortez Ward was in possession of an unserialized Polymer 80 pistol with a large-capacity magazine loaded with 19 rounds of ammunition on his person. Quantez Ward had an AK-style gun in a backpack in the car. On July 19, 2022, law enforcement executed a federal arrest warrant at the Ward brothers’ residence. Inside, law enforcement found multiple firearms, including a 9mm Ruger rifle, a H&K MP5 rifle and a Polymer 80 pistol with a switch.

On November 21, 2022, Quantez Ward pleaded guilty to one count of possession of firearms as a felon related to several of the firearms recovered on July 19, 2022. He was sentenced yesterday before Chief Judge Patrick J. Schiltz. Cortez Ward will be sentenced at a later date.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Minneapolis Police Department, and the Maple Grove Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Middlecamp prosecuted the case.


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